Scottie Pippen's ex-wife shuts down $18m salary controversy

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·Sports Editor
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Scottie and Larsa Pippen, pictured here in Miami in 2016.
Scottie and Larsa Pippen in Miami in 2016. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for Haute Living)

Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife has weighed in on the renewed furore around his staggeringly low salary.

One of the major takeaways from the first two episodes of ‘The Last Dance’ - a new documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s - was Pippen’s ridiculous contract.

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The exact numbers were never lost to history, but hearing the terms of Pippen’s long-term deal was still shocking for so many fans.

The man held up as a central pillar of a dynasty and a perfect complement to Jordan signed a seven-year, US$18 million extension in 1991.

As the NBA took off over the next decade, the contract quickly became one of the biggest steals in modern sports history.

It was so bad that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf looked physically uncomfortable talking about it.

Pippen explained he signed the deal because he needed the security in case of a debilitating injury. That justification was supported by an upbringing marked by poverty, as detailed in the documentary.

Many fans familiar with Pippen, but not well-read on him, were shocked to hear that Jordan’s No. 2 was the NBA’s 122nd highest-paid player at $2.78 million during his final year with the Bulls.

Larsa Pippen says Scottie did fine

But amid the renewed backlash, Pippen’s ex has moved to play down the controversy.

Former ‘Housewives of Miami’ star Larsa Pippen took to Twitter on Monday night after the first two episodes went to air, making it clear that Scottie certainly isn’t struggling financially.

“Thx for your concern Scottie did OK #TheLastDance,” Larsa wrote on Twitter, including a screenshot of Pippen’s reported career earnings of $109 million.

The majority of Pippen’s career earnings came from stints at the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers after he was traded away from Chicago.

Scottie and Larsa divorced in 2018 after a 21-year marriage. They have four children together.

NBA fans go wild over Michael Jordan doco

The first two episodes ‘The Last Dance’ finally arrived Monday, and — for the first night in a month — the NBA fans of the world had what they wanted.

For two hours, fans received an unprecedented look into the lives of Jordan, Pippen and the rest of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.

Between its background, subject matter and timing with the sports world shut down by the coronavirus crisis, ‘The Last Dance’ premiered as quite possibly the most anticipated sports documentary of all time.

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, pictured here during the Chicago Bulls' dynasty of the 1990s.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen during the Chicago Bulls' dynasty. (Photo by VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)

It was certainly appointment viewing for NBA Twitter, which went into a frenzy on a moment’s notice throughout the two hours.

The first indication that this documentary was going to get very real was a prod from Jordan’s interviewer about a certain habit of his Bulls teammates when he was first drafted.

Point blank, it was a question of how accurate the term “the Bulls traveling cocaine circus” really was.

After a prolonged laugh and claiming he had never heard that nickname, Jordan led his response off with an incredible “Ahhhh ... look.”

Jordan went onto explain how he once walked in on his teammates partying with, among other things, cocaine and women, then walking right out to preserve his career. Hey, it was the NBA in the 1980s, what did you expect?

Naturally, a T-shirt has already been drawn up.

With Yahoo Sports US

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